Car feature monitors teen driving

Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 21, 2015

Learning to drive is a liberating experience for teenagers.

Before I had my license I looked forward to finally learning to drive. As an adult, it’s a thing I now take for granted.

I can remember the excitement of finally getting behind the wheel. After I got my license and my own vehicle I was no longer bound to the schedule of adults; I could get up and go whenever I wanted, provided I had enough cash for gas.

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Naturally there were a few hiccups. To make matters worse, I learned to drive using a standard transmission vehicle. For anyone that drives a stick shift, you know the extra learning curve involved in operating such a vehicle.

I can remember one incident when I popped the clutch too fast and caused my adult passenger to spill his iced tea all over himself. I find it funny now, but he didn’t laugh much at the time.

I still enjoy driving a standard transmission vehicle.

Now learning to drive will have an extra layer of safety. Recently General Motors announced the addition of a piece of technology to their new line of vehicles, Teen Driver.

When activated, it monitors the driving habits of the teen, and then reports them back to the parent when the teen returns home. Recorded data includes how far the vehicle traveled, its maximum speed, whether the anti-lock brakes and traction control were activated, and if any collision alerts were given.

Inexperienced drivers are a danger, so this new feature may help young drivers learn what they are doing wrong when an adult is not in the vehicle.

However, I see an issue with the feature.

The parent does not become aware of any issues until after the car arrives back home.

An easy fix for the issue would be to add a cellular capability to the car, which would enable data to be sent in real time to the parent’s smart phone.